Police commissioner slams ‘frivolous 999’ calls

Cllr Alan Charles Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire
Cllr Alan Charles Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles has hit out at ‘frivolous’ 999 calls after a man rang the emergency services to say he’d lost his trousers.

Mr Charles was spending a busy Friday night with 999 handlers when the call came through.

Mr Charles, who was accompanied by his deputy Hardyal Dhindsa, said: “We were astonished by some people’s idea of what is critical.

“Dialling 999 is for 999 situations, not ‘I’ve lost my trousers’ or ‘I can’t find my friend who was supposed to meet me ten minutes ago’.”

He added: “The call handlers are responsible for getting help to emergency situations as quickly as possible.

“Having valuable time taken up by non-urgent or even frivolous matters could have serious consequences where every second counts.”

Mr Charles praised the way the call handlers dealt with “real problems”. He said: “I was very impressed by the professionalism of the staff and the reassurances they gave people who were struggling to keep calm.”

The 999 number is a 24-hour service and should only be used for real emergencies. This includes when life is at risk, when you see a crime in progress or when there is a traffic incident involving personal injury or danger.